95 and still alive!

Posted on April 10, 2013

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Eight days ago, I was bragging about getting a half marathon pr on a daily run. And I haven’t run since, much less do laundry, clean the house, watch tv, pay bills, schedule appointments- or do anything ‘having a life’ related at all. I still have 10 unlistened to voice messages on my phone.

I’ve been studying. For a killer Chemistry II Exam. A giant cloud of doom loomed over my head like a cartoon, full of the fear of failure. I put the entire weight of my future into this one exam.

I started going to school a year and a half ago in order to gain the nine prerequisites I need in order to apply for the MPH/RD program at UNC. It’s only the best Nutrition Master’s Degree available in America. I moved here to do this- and I’m not really even a competitive applicant, considering they only accept 24 students a year.
I could go on for days about that, but I already did so in another post.

The jig is this: my undergrad (in Theatre from a less well thought of state University) left me with a less than stellar GPA. (Not the WORST- I wasn’t a flunkie or anything.) That was almost 20 years ago, and I’m leaning on my more recent scholastic record to make up for it. So far, I’ve gotten all A’s. High A’s, I would get upset about not getting a 100 on an exam. Chem I, Biochem, Anatomy & Physiology? No problem! Chem II? There has been some uncharacteristic swearing.

My last exam in this class was an 80. EIGHTY. Percent. That sunk my average to a 92, which is much too close to a B for my comfort. I pretty much feel like getting a B would close the door on any small chance I might have at getting into the program at UNC.

As is easily imaginable, I let a whole lotta stuff non-Exam prep related slide in the past week. My work schedule and full time Mommy schedule was not graceful to me, and the kids have been sick and I haven’t slept. (I know- no one sleeps- but it’s harder when your forty and I had to function for future-making test taking!)

My kids were not getting the attention they deserved, and tv wasn’t working its magic like it did when Mommy had to study before. Running? What’s running? I wasn’t even able to take a you-know-what with my schedule! At one point, I was very glad there was no fly on the wall/hidden camera to see me on my knees in front of my three year old, crying (me, not her!) and begging with folded hands before me “Please, Please, PLEASE be a good girl today! Please be good, please!!!! I’m begging you!!!” There was more, but you get the picture.

On exam day- I waited for my husband to get home at 2pmish (exam at 5:45!) to relieve me of parenting duty. I had stayed up studying until at least 3:00am, and the kids of course were up at the crack. They were the height of unruly. I tried in vain to emergency study- I had a well blocked out plan of attack- if I could just get them to STFU. I’m very horrible- I know. At one point, my stress was so high I had to walk away and go sit on the front porch to avoid screaming at my kids like a lunatic. Mommy time out.

The grass was green, the sky was blue, the air was warm, the birds were singing and the flowers were blooming. Instant peace. I went back inside immediately and scooped up my two screaming yelling angry quarreling toddlers, one under each arm, football style, and plopped them down on the porch. I said…”Shhhhh. Listen.”

We had a few running across the yard games- barefoot in the grass in our jammies- and ended up with a back patio picnic lunch.

I had a ton of tea (which gives me a less irritable and more focused energy than coffee) and got in a good run of studying. The quarrelsome duo re-emerged, and I had to send those jumping monkeys straight to bed. Naptime underway, I really got focused with timers and chapters. I was a page and a half away from complete when my husband got home, which woke up the kids and incited me to gather my things and head to class early with a “Peace Out, Family!”

I finished my last chapter and rudely shut down classmate approaches so I could complete phase three of my study time- the second practice exam. Much better than the first- but still not exactly where I wanted to be. My last alert chimed on the phone telling me I had 15 minutes to pack up and get from the library to “Exam three- Make it or Break it!” An exciting new game show brought to you by Durham Technical Community College.

A few last reviews once seated in class- and I felt ready. Confident even. Page one- true or false, circle your answer…page two…four high point questions requiring lengthy calculations- uh oh. Blank brain. A monkey playing cymbals up in there. Skipped the whole page. Came back to it at the end and it was all there.

Long story short, I got a 95. I’m still in this! So all of the above is where my head has been for over a week. Today- the only second available to run was when my man was cooking dinner. I (rudely again) got off the phone with my bestie, who’d been leaving me messages all week, and stepped out into the warm embrace of the out of doors.

I ran until after dark, literally over the river and through the woods. Six hilly miles of freedom, independence, stress release and happiness. Bliss even. It was such a treat to get to run a familiar path in the dark. I started in the reverse direction that I usually run- so it was a double twist of refreshment. I had on my best short hot pink ruffled running skort, and I felt like, well, I felt like a Supahstah!

If life gets really crazy, you have deadlines, things aren’t cooperating…there is a light at the end of the tunnel. And for heaven’s sake, when you get to it…GO FOR A RUN!

Happy Running out there!

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